By Rob Kiser, Miami Valley Today
JANUARY 25, 2020 - COVINGTON
It is not something you want to go through. But, injuries don’t seem to faze the Covington girls basketball team anymore.
It started with a loss to Makenzee Maschino one game into the season.
And has continued throughout the season.
Saturday, the Lady Buccs saw senior standout Morgan Kimmel — the heart and soul of the team — go down in the first quarter to what appears to be a serious foot injury.
And in the end, Covington was able to gut out a 36-28 win over Jackson Center.
“Losing Morgan (Kimmel) is a huge loss,” Covington coach Brandon Studebaker said. “It has been a rough year (with injuries). Early in the year, I think it was tough on the girls. Now, they just find a way to get it done. They just keep going and that is what they did today.”
And he felt the win was a significant win for Covington, who improved to 8-10.
“It is big for two reasons,” Studebaker said. “It gives us an 8-10 record headed into the draw, instead of 7-11. And this was the next to last home game for the seniors. They have one more of these, so that is a big deal.”
The Buccs came out clicking on all cylinders.
Covington had its first three shots to go up 7-3 before Kimmel went down.
With the play of posts Regan and Katie Clark, Jackson Center gradually worked its way back into the game.
Covington had led 12-9 after one quarter, 21-14 at halftime and 25-22 after three quarters.
A putback by Regan Clark and a basket by Morgan Huber had given Jackson Center a 26-25 lead with 6:24 remaining in the game, before two pivotal plays that swung the game.
First, Josie Crowell was fouled as she hit a 3-pointer and added the free throw for a 4-point play to put Covington up 29-26 with 5:30 remaining.
“That was a great pass to Josie (Crowell) and that was a huge shot to get us the lead back,” Studebaker said.
After nearly two minutes with neither team scoring, a Jackson Center foul and technical when Claire Fraley grabbed a rebound with 3:26 remaining put Covington in control.
Shooting the one-and-one first, Fraley hit both free throws, then made one of the two technicals to put Covington up 32-26.
“That was big,” Studebaker said. “Claire (Fraley) did a great job hitting the one-and-one, so I left her there to shoot the technicals. She made one of two.”
A basket by Ava Winner cut the Bucc lead to 32-28, but Claudia Harrington scored on a fast break and Bree Reynolds hit a shot to put Covington up 36-28 with 1:08 to go and neither team would score again.
Harrington had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Buccs.
Morgan Lowe and Crowell scored nine points each, while Fraley grabbed six rebounds.
Katie Clark had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Jackson Center, while Regan Clark grabbed nine rebounds and Winner scored six points.
Covington was 12 of 41 from the floor for 29 percent and eight of 11 from the line for 73 percent.
Jackson Center was 10 of 47 from the floor for 21 percent and seven of 10 from the line for 70 percent.
The Tigers won the battle of the boards 38-27 and had 14 turnovers to Covington’s 16.
“Hopefully, this gives us momentum going into a big game with Miami East Thursday,” Studebaker said.
After the Buccs gutted out another win Saturday.
Jackson Center (28)
Gwen Prenger 0-0-0, Ava Winner 3-0-6, Morgan Huber 2-0-4, Katie Clark 3-5-11, Grace Woolley 1-0-3, Regan Clark 1-2-4, Ashley Mulenhour 0-0-0, Gabrielle Woolley 0-0-0, Kylie Hartle 0-0-0. Totals: 10-7-28.
Morgan Lowe 3-2-9, Morgan Kimmel 0-0-0, Claudia Harrington 4-2-11, Claire Fraley 1-3-5, Josie Crowell 3-1-9, Ellie Hedges 0-0-0, Bree Reynolds 1-0-2. Totals: 12-8-36.
3-point field goals — Grace Woolley. Covington: Lowe, Harrington, Crowell (2).
Score By Quarters
Jackson Center - 9 14 22 28
Covington - 12 21 25 36